Playing With Knives

By Jessica Carroll


            There’s a knife sitting in the sink while I’m washing the dishes. I’m sort of half waiting for one of them to come running in here, grab it, and use it on the other. They’re fighting again, my parents. It’s about me; I can tell. They just don’t get it. I’m not the cause of their problems; they’re the cause of mine. After all, I’m the one who needs the shrink, so who’s to say that they even have any problems. They just wish they had my problems so they could have my medication.

            I take my hands out of the scalding water and half-walk, half-stumble to the upstairs bathroom.  The yelling floats up the stairs, as if it was following me, and I can still hear it just as if I were still in the kitchen. Now she’s accusing him of being attracted to a woman he works with. My shrink once told me that people who accuse their spouses of “adulterous deeds” with everyone they meet are often unhappy in the relationship they’re in, or guilty of some deed themselves and all they really want is to get a confession out of their partner before they have to admit to any wrongdoings. The thought has recently crossed my mind as to whether or not my shrink knew that she had insulted my mother’s existence and that if that if the day when I was finally driven over the edge and committed mass homicide with an ice pick arrived anytime in the near future, she would be the first to go. Nobody insults my mother, even if she is a bitch sometimes.

            I fling open the medicine cabinet and about five prescription bottles fall out, landing in the sink. I pick up the one I need, leaving the rest. I prefer to chew my medicine. Most people just swallow pills because of the taste, but I find it highly enjoyable. I swallow the once-chalky, now-pasty mixture of saliva and poison, and wash it down by pressing my mouth against the faucet and gulping the water as it comes down. The rest of the pill bottles are soaked and one of the labels begins to flake off at a corner as I set the one bottle back in its place in the cabinet and shut the mirrored door. My reflection watches me so this so I tell it to fuck off and go stare at something else. I snicker. Man, I love being me. Anyway…

            I maneuver myself back to my room secret agent style, pressing my back against the wall and sidling down the hallway before flinging myself through my bedroom doorway and slamming the door shut. Yeah baby, I’ve got talent.